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This article, Chapter 2 - The Twist, was added by Takeshi57 who determines its usage on this wiki.

I really should have figured we would get stuck here, but at that I point I didn't know what 'here' was. Ignorance was not bliss for me.

I've always been a curious person; I've always questioned why, tried to figure out how this or that works, and so on. So when I finally completely registered where we were, I began to wonder why it was here, and so on.

Alma had fallen asleep in my arms, and so I let her rest on my back while I walked us along in the desert. For once I was glad I hadn't been a complete lazy-ass gamer like some of the people I knew were. I still had my backpack with me, and that was slung on my right shoulder so it wasn't uncomfortable for Alma.

I wanted to sit down and talk with her, that's what I was truly curious about. I haven't known anyone else my entire life that could see ghosts, so wasn't it natural to want to talk with someone you can relate to? Still, I let her rest; whatever had happened back there had drained her.

Alma was a lot heavier than my backpack, and I was still carrying that too, so I was walking fairly slowly. I looked up a tall dune that I stood at the base off, and decided to take a break at the top. I started forward; the slope wasn't overly steep, but I had probably a good part of my wait hitched to my back, so I had to be careful anyways.

I wasn't prepared for what I saw as I reached the top.

A giant fortress of a building lay in the distance. It was disconcerting to see such a structure; especially when I noticed tiny specs of trees in the distance that were even tinier moreso by how it scaled in my head. I looked to see if anything was closer. Just more dunes and the crystal trees that grew in it from what I could tell.

I figured hiking towards the fortress would be our best bet... but I wasn't sure I could carry Alma the whole way there. If she wasn't able I'd try, but at the very least I would see if she could walk.

I gingerly placed Alma down on the sand, and then I sat down next to her; using my backpack as something to lean on. She looked so peaceful as she lay there, and I admittingly wished I could find that kind of peace too. But my head was spinning with everything that had happened today and just couldn't seem to push them away for even a moment.

I've always felt kinda bored with life, but I always wondered what I would do if I got the action I sometimes wished for. Isn't that an interesting lesson? You may say you'll act a certain way, but things can change when they really do happen.

But back to then, I was trying to think on everything, and was getting no where at all. But at last I was saved from my thoughts by Alma as she began to stir.

Her eyes slowly opened and moved all around in their sockets; trying to find where she was. After a moment she began to rise and take a more detailed look around, but she still couldn't seem to find anyything recognizable until she found my face.

I smiled at her and started off with a casual, "Hey Alma."

She seemed surprised to a degree that she was being talked to, but I had heard her talk before in school, and sure enough she finally took a breath and in sync with her hand she wearily replied with another, "Hey."

I felt a little uncomfortable talking to her; why was that? I couldn't put my finger on it, but I slowly decided to continue with, "So how do you feel?"

I was answered with a grimace, "I feel wierd... I don't know, something that's new but old? I just don't know."

My mind went back to her hollow-like form from earlier, and found it made sense. I nodded sympathetically and pulled out from my bag a sealed water and handed it to her. I usually bring two with me to school every day because most of my teachers don't mind it, and it means I don't have to use passes and what not to get a drink.

Alma smiled at me and unscrewed the lid after taking it. She sipped the contents and I could tell at the very least the water made her feel psychologically better; drinking something normal and familiar like water helped you ease yourself about new surroundings.

We just sat there quietly for a time; I wondered why there wasn't any talk. I looked over to Alma and I saw her eyes. They say they're the window to the soul and you could tell from the way she was taking small breaths as if to compose herself and how she kept turning to me before looking away. So she was a shy one it seemed. That meant I would have to start any conversation we could possibly have, at least for the time being.

I considered asking her how to get out of here, straight up, but I doubted she knew, and either way it would come off as a little more interested in my own safety than both of ours. So instead I asked, "Any clue where we are?"

She shook her head quietly, before adding, "This can't be Earth though... it feels different, don't you think?"

Thinking over it didn't take long; it did feel different. The very air seemed to hold more substance than Earth. And oddly enough, I felt like I had more energy here too. What did all this mean?

I looked to the fortress in the distance, and Alma followed my gaze. I murmured, "You think that's our best bet?"

She seemed taken aback to be asked her opinion, and I couldn't blame her; no one at school ever really cared about what she thought. She shrugged easily though after a quick recovery, "Maybe, might be trouble though."

I nodded in agreement. I was silent, but at last she mustered up her courage and said, "But we don't really have anything to lose, do we?"

I grinned at her and she grinned back. Definitely just shy.

We talked (flirted a bit too) for a good few hours, talking about ourselves and other such things. I found out she hadn't known her real parents; her father died before she was born and her mother was found dead when Alma was only a few days old, though the people who had been looking after her eventually told her that they hadn't actually found her until a few days after her mom died, and no one knew how she was still alive and healthy. I had some theories of my own, but I didn't bother stating them.

We both started yawning, and so I suggested we rest for a bit before setting off. I could tell she was worn, because she didn't have anything to say. The landscape was all sand, and while not chilly, it wasn't exactly warm either. Alma blushed slightly, but after a quick look and a shrug from me, she slid next to me and I wrapped my arms around her. We both ended up warm in the end. She didn't see my own slight blush that I knew I had, but I'm guessing she figured it out.

After a few minutes, she was out and quietly breathing in and out. I could feel her soft and steady heartbeat right next to mine. With a small smile, I drifted into sleep as well.


We woke each other up in the... honestly it still looked like night so I couldn't say the time of day. But one of us started stirring and that woke the other, can't say who started, but it didn't matter, we both were up.

Silently and shyly again, she extracted herself from my arms and we both stood up. Her clothes were ragged so I pulled off the jacket I habitually wore, leaving me with a gray long-sleeve, and helped her shrug into it. She was a head shorter than me, so it was big on her, but she was comfortable in it, and though I never said it to her (her self-consciousness would not be helped by such a statement), she looked cute wearing it.

She smiled at me in thanks and we set off walking, chatting again as we continued towards the castle. It was really far off though and Alma wasn't recovered enough to do any running yet. So we repeated the cycle for at least a week, and we got to know each other to the point that we basically had no reason to speak to each other as we walked; the silence spoke volumes of how close we were getting. But... I can't say I had realized I had fallen for her.

...

Ok, I'll add the very true last word. Yet.

As last though, we made it to the castle. It looked big in the distance, but its actual size was overwhelming to the point that the word didn't even do it justice. Alma was shocked too, and so we entered the apparently deserted building cautiously. Anyone who could get around to building such a place must be (or have been) powerful.

It was odd, but the corridors lead us straight to the room with the portal on our first go through. Later I would realize that it had been left like that for ease of access by Shinigami. Nonetheless, we found ourselves in something of a throne room.

We quietly walked up to a gate that stood in front of the throne. It was fashioned in the Japanese style, and as curious as ever, I slowly reached my hand for it. Alma's hand, fast and steady suddenly pulled it back. I raised an eyebrow at her and she blushed. I patted her hand with my free one reassuringly, and so she took a breath and as I raised my hand again, she also raised hers to touch the door as well.

Of course right before we touched it, the gate started opening. My reaction time was good; I grabbed her hand and dragged her with me to behind the gate; where the throne was. Alma was as silent as I was, which was probably another reason we would make it into the gate. We heard footsteps, and as we peered around from behind the gate, we saw two men in what seemed to be black kimonos. They stepped forward as if looking for something, and silently started to exit.

The door was sliding closed behind them, and I ended up pausing of all things to decide whether we should go for it or not. It could be our end, but it might be our only way out.

This time Alma grabbed me, and dragged me through.

We knew each other too well.

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